Cartoon Network was rockin’ in the 2000s and brought us a number of memorable series, like The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, and Ben 10. However, one show that easily stood out above the others was Samurai Jack, an action-packed series created and executive produced by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory).
The series managed to deliver outstanding action sequences, along with a eye-catching art style and powerful storytelling. The show did really well in the beginning, but ratings declined over its five year run, which ended after its fourth season. However, things have change in Jack‘s favor. Adult Swim announced earlier today that the series would be making its return next year, with Tartakovsky back at the driver’s helm.
So what is it about Samurai Jack‘s return that makes it so significant?
The Show’s Style Is Like Nothing Else
While most of Cartoon Network’s programming leaned more towards a goofy, all-ages level of likability, Samurai Jack catered more to the classic samurai films of old, such as Arika Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Granted, it had its moments of humorous charm and didn’t go over the top when it came to sword-slashing violence (robots bled oil and creatures oozed out green slime), but there was something about the series’ vibe that made it a thing to appreciate. The show stayed true in tone throughout its four seasons and will most likely do again when the show returns.
So Much Could Be Said Without Uttering a Word
Although the dialogue in the show was handled with utmost professionalism (thanks to Phil LaMarr voicing Jack and the late Mako pouring his evil best into the villainous Aku), most of the episodes relied more on action than words. Some episodes didn’t have any dialogue to begin with, relying on Jack’s actions–as well as those of his enemies–to tell the story. This was a rare feat for a cartoon show, and it made fans appreciate the hard work Tartakovsky and his team put into it.
Adult Swim Opens Up a Number of Darker Possibilities
The tone for Samurai Jack was dark enough as it is, setting the show apart from other loonier fare on Cartoon Network. But for its return, the channel has already indicated that Jack will be part of the Adult Swim line-up, most likely as part of the Saturday night Toonami programming block. This sets up the grand possibility of the show taking a much darker path in storytelling. That’s not to say it’ll go all M-rated. After all, that’s not the exact tone the original show took. It’ll be interesting to see where Tartakovsky and his crew can take the show now that the kids’ gloves have come off.
To get a taste of what kind of action you can expect from Samurai Jack, check out the classic Shinobi battle below
Cover Image source: Google Play